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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 28, 2014 8:00pm-10:01pm EST

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>> good afternoon, everybody. over the last several days, the united states has been responding to events as they have unfolded in the ukraine. through this crisis, we have been very clear about one fundamental principle. the ukrainian people deserve the opportunity to determine their own future. together with our european allies, we have urged an end to the violence and encourage ukrainians to pursue a course to forge a broad-based government and move to elections this spring. i also spoke with president putin.
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we have been in daily communication with russian officials. we have made clear they can be part of an international community effort to support the stability and success of a united ukraine going forward, which is not only in the interest of the people of the ukraine and the international committee but also in russia interests. however, we are now deeply concerned of reports of military movements taken by the russian federation inside the ukraine. russia has a historic relationship with the ukraine, including cultural and economic ties and a military facility in crimea, but any violation of the ukraine sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing, which is not in the interest of the ukraine, russia, or europe. it would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the ukrainian people. it would be a clear violation of russia's commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty
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and the borders of the ukraine and international laws. just days after the world came to russia for the olympic games, it would invite the condemnation of nations around the world, and the united states will stand with the international community in affirming there will be costs for military intervention in the ukraine. the events of the past several months remind us of how difficult democracy can be in a country with deep divisions. but the ukrainian people have also reminded us that human beings have a universal right to determine their own future. right now the situation remains very fluid. vice president biden just spoke with the prime minister of the ukraine to assure him in this difficult moment the united states supports his government's efforts and stands for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and a democratic future of the ukraine.
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i also commend the ukrainian government's restraint and commitment to uphold its international obligations. we'll continue to coordinate closely with our european allies. we will continue to communicate directly with the russian government. and we will continue to keep all of you in the press and the american people informed as events develop. thanks very much. >> are they russian forces in crimea? >> the un security council held an emergency session to discuss the unrest in ukraine. to ukraine, united states, russia, and other countries spoke to reporters for about an hour and 10 minutes.
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>> i briefed the security council on the developments. this majority, constitutional majority which demonstrated the support not only of the new leaders in power but also the opposition. yesterday, the government was created. again, by overwhelming majority, with gives legacy and the program of the government, a program in which is bringing the vision of how to cope with the current crisis, how to cope with the root of this crisis, and how to stabilize the situation. the basic principles of this program is the further formation of a civil society based on
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democratic principles and a guarantee of the rights of all the nation of minorities, including language. then unfortunately, i was informed of the recent developments in the ukraine. today, the parliament issued a resolution explaining in crimea they are observing the external presence, encouraging the clashes. the group of identified people yesterday addressed the ukrainian parliament and the cabinet of ministers on the threats. the parliament took the decision to have a referendum in may.
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the same situation happened recently in the two airports of crimea. the group of heavy weaponed people blocked these airports. i briefed the security council. my people have the current situation at this moment of unspecified armed forces of the russian federation in the territory of the ukraine. we were informed about the illegal crossing of the border by russian military transports, about 10 of them, arriving. 11 military cargo -- 11 military
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helicopters were also crossing borders, as well as the situation, the other situation. these are military attack helicopters, by the way, not transport, mi-24. we informed about -- just forgot the name. we informed, also, the brutal case of the russian navy officer moved his contingent when he was stopped and demanded to explain what was going on. he is a russian navy captain,
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who tried to explain his actions by recent decisions by the crimean authorities. i informed the security council about our extreme concern and expressed strong indignation regarding the recent post on the facebook page of the russian foreign ministry. i quote this posting. "instructions have been sent to the russian consulate general to undertake all necessary measures in order to stop the issue of russian passports to the police unit. this unit that was involved on the streets of kiev, and this was by the decision of the ministry of the interior." today, our ministry of foreign
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affairs expresses strong protest of the russian military maneuvers and their presence in crimea and demand them to remove all these units and people. i also informed the security council about the decision of the parliament and the minister to address the russian federation to hold a bilateral consultation under article seven of the treaty of partnership between the ukraine and the russian federation of 1997. today, our ministry got the peace proposal officially rejected by the russian side. the parliament took the decision
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to address all the parties of the budapest memorandum on security issues signed in 1994 between the ukraine and five countries. due to our decision to get rid of the nuclear armament. we addressed them to observe their obligations, including russia, who signed this memorandum. we asked the security council to consider the situation in the ukraine as seriously as it is and to undertake the appropriate measures to assist us to stop the dangerous developments which are challenging the
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international peace and our territorial integrity. thank you. >> how would you characterize the russian military movements, as aggression? >> yes, because some of them identified themselves as russians. we know specifically some of the units, for example the 22nd special brigade of the intelligence department, the foreign forces of the russian federation, we know involved the special law enforcement company. i gave you the name of this captain who led his group because of the decision of the crimean parliament, and we identified the presence of the russian aircraft and helicopters. the people who invaded in the
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parliament and the crimean parliament and who is keeping the airports there to be identified. >> can you tell us the name of the naval officer, and can you tell us where these aircraft are headed? are they going into crimea or other places? and whether your government has control over the two airports in crimea? >> so, where is the name. here. the ukrainian coast guard unit was blocked by a group of armed people under the command of a russian navy captain, captain of the first rank. so this is his title. captain alexander, who tried to explain his action by recent
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decisions of crimean authorities. still, we do not have full control of the airports. along with that, what we got from kiev. the main air control center has been captured by the armed forces of the russian federation. and so looking at the paper, again, all the signals are being suppressed by the equipment to control the air movement. so -- here we are.
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i was looking to find the papers where we have enough. >> what is your response to the yanukovych press conference held in russia? and where is your government's request to the international monetary fund, where does it stand, how long of a time frame are you looking at? >> thank you. luckily, i had a chance to listen to mr. yanukovych. i have been told this is comedy. even if you look back, as i was told by my colleagues, if you look at what he said literally, that because of our strategic relations with the ukraine -- look, the president of the ukraine stated it like that. a man who could step aside, even on the price of his own
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position, and not to permit people to kill others, he escaped from the country somewhere. and making statements which are making more and more harm. it is beyond immoral. so the imf. the delegation of the imf is coming to kiev next week. there were some statements from the imf that we are to negotiate some liberations in the position, but what is very important for us that we do understand the restrictions, because money to come should work for the reforms and not disappear, 2 billion, 3 billion, given by the russian side. they are to work for the reforms
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and the people in the government should know exactly where this money will go. >> what do you exactly expect from this session of the security council? besides calling it aggression, will you please again summarize how you would describe those who have agressed your country? >> we observed in crimea and a big amount coming from the russian federation. today, the delegation, the visitors from russia, russian parliament expanded in times. they are coming there, and their protection and so on and so forth.
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but we made a lot of statements 10 years ago, 15 years ago that any international invasion of our domestic affairs, yes, there are groups, pro-russians. but these groups are now making a serious mistake challenging our territorial independence and integrity. i would like you all not to be partial. look on the internet yourself and make analysis of yourself. who was appointed by the crimean parliament as the prime minister recently? and you will understand the same scenario happened elsewhere. the people with their past are the question.
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the people who made crime and so on. look and confirm. this is something which needs global understanding of the process. because the mechanisms are the same. what i expect from the security council and from all of you, we need the impartial true coverage of the situation in crimea, because it is one-sided. one-sided coverage from the russian side. what we need to have, we want you to help us bring the truth around the world what is going on. what do we expect from the security council and all my colleagues? first of all, first of all,
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moral support. to understand what is going on. what we want from them is political support. we want from them to do everything possible in terms of preventive diplomacy. still we have a chance to stop the negative developments and to stop all of this through strong voices from around the world. because we have observed this same scenario in many places. somebody comes from this side and into the vulnerable. >> again, thank you. if the security council does not give you the support also because russia is one of the permanent members with a bit of power, can you tell us what your government expects from the
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european union and the united states will do to calm the situation, to make the situation not escalate more? >> thank you. as you and me, i am following the final stance of the security council. i know that we have the support because several days ago, when the swiss presidency briefed the security council, the discussion brought to the exchange of the positions of the security council member states on the situation in the ukraine. all 14 members, 15 is russia, they stated that for the territorial integrity, they stated for the unity, they stated practically for the support. i count on this majority.
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but if the security council is really capable to deal with the situation like the ukraine has, in terms of security council reform, its effectiveness, the rapidness to react to stop the violence. i am referring to what the french leadership stated during the general assembly last september. to forget about the leaders when atrocities are standing before us. when the challenge to international peace is in front of us. well, this is my expectation, but also the expectation of the major general assembly supporters as well. i don't think that the respective country could pause
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itself about what they think about all of these atrocities. >> are you saying there is no way in which the current government of kiev would accept the idea of a referendum in crimea without outside impartial monitors to find out what the people of crimea want in the way of their government? >> to be a pure legalist, i should say the decision by the crimea parliament was taken illegally, but as well there is no legislation of the ukraine, neither crimea, it has to be regional or local referendums. there is a provision of the state law on the referendums that if any question refers to
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the territorial integrity of changing of the status of any regions of the ukraine, it should be a national referendum. so at least, in legal terms, the specific bill should be adopted to move with all of these thoughts and decisions. that's why in legal terms, constitutional terms, it is very difficult. it's very difficult to realize it now with all of the steps. >> ambassador, are you confident the new ukrainian government has the support of the ukrainian security forces in this crisis? and also, is the ukraine prepared to defend itself militarily, or does it have the capability to do so against the russian federation? >> good question.
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the opposition, before changing the constitutional majority in the parliament, before the creation of the government, they stated that they would be in favor of the government of the people's trust. and we had for the first time in our history very specific kind of consultations with people. so each of the candidates of the ministers, they were negotiated with the civil society organized on independence square. they organize the council. and all of the candidates were agreed with them.
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some of these candidacies were thrown out. so it means the minister of defense is a professional military man. he was supported by the people, and he is respected in the army. in the security, supporters from the opposition, his candidacy is supported by the people. and he used to be the chief of security during a time. in the minister of the interior. so people demonstrated their support, their full support in the ministry. they got those who were professional people.
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we count on that. the second question is very painful for me, because i don't want to think about any kind of military development around the settlement of the question. but i think -- i think we are strong enough to defend ourselves. we have a strong feeling, we have a spiritual feeling that we are right in what we are doing. >> can you talk about the resolution invoking the international criminal court? did this come up, and also the request to extradite mr. yanukovych back? what are the status of those actions? >> you can find the experts on how this works. well, it's not so easy to move directly.
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so what do we have. we should ratify the statute. we should, because it has been pending since the democratic governments failed to ratify it, and now it is ratified. but it does not mean that it could work. but what we have on the ground, there is the people's initiative. there is the initiative committee to connect all the crimes of the former power. this people's committee is headed by a professional, my former colleague and former ambassador to the united kingdom, a professor of
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international law, and former judge. they are collecting and making analysis of all of the crimes and atrocities of the former regime. then the next step, i don't know. i think, first of all, it should be decided in the ukrainian court by ukrainians, and then to see how we can move. but it was not so frightening for yanukovych, no, not that. when he had the parliament take their decision to criminalize the article of the former criminal court which permits to release the prisoner, he disappeared.
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>> you say it was the comedy the press conference? >> yes. >> but if instead of thinking it is a comedy, the russian government thinks that yanukovych is still the president of the ukraine, do you think that sooner or later there will be a problem of who is the legal representatives of the ukraine? do you have everybody recognizing you at the moment as the ambassador of the ukraine? >> uh, a good question. but to answer the comedy, please look carefully how it was organized. no answers to the questions raised by the journalists. microphones were switched off. he kept saying, i am the president of the ukraine, i am the president of the ukraine, so it was the only task for him not to answer the questions. the questions were very tough. the question was, what can you
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say about your luxury palace and what we discovered there, and so on. as to his legacy as the president, as to the question which is pending, either it was the coup d'├ętat or was the normal process of the political changes in the parliament. the former speaker of the parliament who was the right hand of yanukovych made several statements. you could look at his video and what he said. he denied whatever yanukovych said about attempts to kill this former speaker. he talked about the process in the parliament as reformation of the parliamentary majority.
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who took the decision as to the creation of the government legally. what happens now and is pending again is the question. the first item in the agreement between the president and the opposition was he agreed and hours, thein 48 dealament should adopt a opening the doors to return to the constitution of 2004 which was illegally changed by the former government in 2010. the president should sign it. instead of doing that, he disappeared. he left hist constitutional duties,
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disappeared, and what to do. he disappeared announcing to his representative in the parliament and he founded in the parliament. the president told me he was about to resign. then the opposition leader called him and got the confirmation of what to do in that situation to move ahead. the parliament took the decision based on the fact that the president left his constitutional duties. he did not fulfill them to sign whichmportant agreement brings ukraine back to the parliamentary public. package oftarian power on one hand of the council. it means that he left his duties, then you let the country
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-- she left the country. that.ted -- it means here, countries that are can you tell us up all of them recognize you as ambassador of the ukraine? >> yes, i am ambassador to ukraine until i am not or another ambassador comes to represent. >> is in there and impeachment process? >> there is a procedure for the impeachment. could takeliament the decision on impeachment but the parliament took the decision by the fact the president left himself, his constitutional duties. same.practically the
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by hugeiament wanted constitutional majority. it means that even his party in the parliament which there is a big faction of the party still existing. one of the leaders of this party declared that he was going to run for presidential elections. to stateright for me it was a legal process of changing uof powers. the legal institutions in ukraine have looked. constitution,he the speaker of the parliament takes the duties. he is trying to perform correctly what is in his hands because he is acting.
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the government was fully created yesterday but two ministers, minister of defense and minister actingign affairs, were because these positions are in the responsibility of the president. the elections will come and may. new president, one in the office will take a decision either to make these to the ministers or change them to somebody else. this is absolutely correctly done in accordance with the constitutional procedures. besides moral support from this body, are you expecting or hoping for any concrete actions or help from security council having in mind that your country is under russian aggression as you said
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yourself? is the legal action of that. i gave you examples of the illegal presence of russians, military persons and equipment, and machinery. that is why the security council could, on my view, address the russian colleagues here, do what ukraine demand here. together, let's find solutions on how to cool down the situation. this is what we expect. we also expect from our security guarantors, those who signed the unitedt memorandum,
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states, united kingdom, france, china, and russia. what is probably the strongest solution, how to cool down the situation, and how to bring peace there. this is what we expect. >> is your country under aggression, having in mind you up for ireign forces in your country or not? >> we have not stated it like that. we protest to the illegal movement, presence. be in a strongto compensation -- confrontation. still demand from them to move out. let's think what we could do to
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calm down the people in the area. the only people that don't want conflict, they are looking for the solution. >> you are saying earlier about where is the military hardware going. where are the i attack helicopts going. are they going to the port? it is big information just before the security council. i gave you my piece of papers. you will see exactly. i spoke about where they were going. they brought all of ukraine military presence there. military presence, police, and others.
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our people are not confronting. thinking about the solution and demanding the political solution and wisdom from those who -- >> two more questions. >> the new york times said one of the reasons why the former president would not signed the agreement with the european union was because the imf was going to impose austerity measures which would destabilize the ukrainian people as they cut their social services. statement, as a joke sort of, that the u.s. does not send in the marines anymore, they send in the imf. aren't you concerned at the austerity measures that are being imposed in western europe which are leading to tremendous social unrest maybe to even further disturbance in the ukraine? years, the former
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president and his partners in ukrainept encouraging saying we are in the european union after tomorrow. in two weeks before signing, he understood that something happened. each and every page of this agreement. it sounded very strange. people ran to the street. explain to us. problems, whye did you never launched the negotiations with the european union? why did you bring us encouragement to the doors of the european union?
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what will be. we are conducting consultations, negotiations with european union. we are trying to find the challenges. it is very easy to avoid problems. the reforms which is more important but we are standing on the same page for 23 years -- no reforms. we expected it could bring reforms. a club member ticket. this is motivation for reforms. inspiration for forms. it never happened. what we will do and what we are doing, we are conducting culture --ns in our agriculture and other places to
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find where we are to be prepared to have some problems. it is an artificial problem. yearigures presented last of the possible losses were artificial. they were artificial. >> i just want to ask you when you talk about illegal presence, are you now referring to their existing russian bases in cr imea? to the adjusted to the presence they had prior to now? two things. first of all, russian presence. we had an agreement on exact rules, procedures within that. to first is our message wasia was this agreement
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severely, severely violated because the troops moved out the zones and borders of their location. nuclearnd -- the rivals. - -- arrivals. the russian transport violated our borders and helicopters moved in. we have two problems. inside and outside. thank you. >> thank you very much.
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>> good afternoon, everybody. we have just come from an emergency meeting and consultation of the security council on ukraine. it is important that the council came together today on this subject. this is a critical moment for the future of ukraine and the ukrainian people. the u.s. stands with ukrainian people in determining their own destiny, their own government, their own future. we are gravely disturbed by reports of russian military deployment into the crimea. the u.s. calls upon russia to pull back the military forces that are being built up in the region to stand down and allow the ukrainian people the opportunity to pursue their own government, create their own destiny, and do so freely without intimidation or fear. we call upon all states to respect the sovereignty of ukraine. as various political actors
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begin making decisions about what role they will play in shaping that future, the international community has an opportunity and responsibility to stand firmly with the people of ukraine and in doing so to prevent unnecessary violence. given the present turbulence, it is useful for the council to reiterate certain principles, including the unity and territorial integrity of ukraine, the need for peaceful dialogue and prevention of further violence, and the fact that ukraine's future can only be determined by the ukrainian people. in recent days the world has bore witness to the overwhelming support that ukraine's new government has received from all major parties within the country. at the same time, we recognize that this newly formed government will require international assistance as it tries to correct the economic failures and political inequities of the past administration. a key to doing this and to ukraine's stability and economic security depends on it having
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healthy relations with all of its neighbors, including russia and the european union. the u.s. stands with the ukrainian people at this or -- remarkable moment and welcomes formation of the new government. we are pleased the cabinet is inclusive and representative and we congratulate the members and the ukrainian people on their historic achievement. the new government needs to continue its outreach to minority groups to help calm the situation and affirm its commitment to protecting minority rights. clearly this is a message that needs to be heard especially in the crimea, where we have seen actions and heard rhetoric that could threaten ukrainian stability. the u.s. would condemn any move to undermine ukraine's sovereignty or territorial integrity, which we expect all states to respect. the best way for the people of crimea to achieve their goals is to work peacefully within the established political system.
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to this end, the u.s. calls for an urgent international mediation mission to the crimea to begin to de-escalate the situation, and facilitate productive and peaceful political dialogue among all ukrainian parties. we encourage all ukrainians to pursue their aspirations through peaceful dialogue and nonviolent political activity. in combination, the new government's efforts with international assistance to bring about economic recovery and renewed hope for the future. thank you. i would be happy to take a couple of questions. >> who should be involved in this international mediation mission, and has the u.s. communicated directly to russia its concerns that it is greatly disturbed by these reports and wants russia to pull back? >> the president of the united
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states will be speaking on the issue of ukraine later today. you will hear directly from him. in terms of the mediation mission that we think is urgently needed, what is important is that it be seen as independent, credible. the secretary-general has dispatched an envoy to ukraine. he is the former ambassador to ukraine as many of you know. the o.s.c.e. has historic connections to many parts of ukraine and to the ukrainian people. what we think is important is that there is a mission at a time when the crisis seems to be escalating rather than the -- deescalating.
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we think that mission be carried out in service of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and unity of ukraine. >> can i ask you how you would describe the russian military movement in crimea? do these count as an act of aggression? >> i'm not going to characterize the movements. you will be hearing from the president shortly. the point i have already made is that we are deeply concerned by these reports, deeply concerned by what we see as the facts on the ground. we urge russia to join us in helping ukraine get back on a path to a brighter future. >> thank you very much. >> good afternoon. the members of the security council held an urgent meeting
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in response to a letter dated today by the permanent representative of ukraine to the security council. the briefing and close consultations -- the briefing was held by the assistant secretary-general, who briefed the council members on a situation in ukraine. the council members reviewed with concerns. during the discussion, support was expressed for ukraine's unity and sovereignty. the council agreed on the importance of restraint by all political actors in ukraine and called for inclusive political dialogue acknowledging the diversity of ukrainian society.
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[indiscernible] in my national capacity i can say that we have a deep concern about the situation, and the outbreak of violence in ukraine. we express our strong support for ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. we call on ukraine's foreign partners to abide by international law. during the discussions we were reminded of the obligations to observe multilateral agreements by all parties, including 1994 budapest memorandum on ukraine and ukraine and russian agreement of 1997. we reiterated the obligation of all member states to refrain in international relations from threats or the use of force against territorial integrity, political independence of any
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state in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the u.n. >> [inaudible] was there anyone that did not recognize the actual government of ukraine? do we know who is in charge? >> individual member states who have various opinions will express these opinions. i will not speak on behalf of individual member states. >> will this require security council action or otherwise? >> we just heard a proposal. it has been put on the table. >> the ukrainian ambassador talked about whether the russian military airplanes that have crossed the borders, did they carry troops? what options is the security
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council considering to ease the unrest in the region? >> the ukrainian ambassador gave specific details. i would assume that it's better him who should speak about the situation in his own country than myself. with regards to the situation, if need be i would assume the next president of the council would be holding other meetings to follow-up from this. thank you. >> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. the un security council has just met to discuss the situation in ukraine. in the course of this meeting, i expressed my deep concern at the recent developments in crimea and particularly reports of russian troop deployment. the united kingdom believes that any newly deployed troops that
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do not answer to the ukrainian government should withdraw. my prime minister and fellow secretary have been in touch with the leaders of the new government in ukraine and russia in the course of today. they have stressed the need for every country to respect the territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty of ukraine. my fellow secretary will travel to ukraine on sunday. we urge all parties, in and outside of ukraine, to exercise restraint and avoid actions or rhetoric that would inflame tensions further or impact on ukraine's sovereignty in any way. my foreign secretary welcomed assurances from acting president turchynov on respecting the rights of all minorities in ukraine. we want the people of ukraine to be free to determine their own future. it is clear that ukraine wants to move towards a different future and the voices of those
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who have protested over several months have been heard. a stable and prosperous ukraine is in all of our interests. this is not a zero-sum game. we should now all work together to help restore stability and protect ukraine's economy. thank you. >> the foreign secretary was in washington and met with the international monetary fund. what is the relationship between that process and the mediation process proposed or trying to address the issues in the crimea? >> there are a number of challenges facing the new government in kiev. one of them is the economy. my foreign secretary went to see the imf in washington because we believe the imf needs to take the lead in putting together a financial package to help the ukrainian government to recover from the economic crisis it is
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in, and to help the ukrainian government take the necessary tough decisions for the structural reforms required to put the economy back on track. this is not directly linked to any political mediation, but it is to address one of the key challenges of the new government that kiev faces. >> what are the next steps for the security council? will you consider mediating a mission to the ukraine and will you meet again in the coming days? >> i suspect the security council will meet regularly to discuss ukraine if the crisis continues. but i don't think the mediation proposal mission that was suggested does actually require security council approval. as i understand it, the idea was that the special envoy of the secretary-general -- who is in kiev -- might go to crimea. perhaps there might be some
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people who will go there and try to de-escalate the tension in crimea. that would not require a security council mandate. >> we just heard the ukrainian ambassador saying that he would expect from the security council some type of moral support. how do you read that and what does it mean besides condemning the actions? how would you describe that and how do you read that moral support? >> i heard a lot of support from security council members to his plea in the discussions we have just had. certainly there were no members of the security council who questioned the importance of preserving the territorial integrity, unity and sovereignty of ukraine.
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>> can you explain what private meeting means as opposed to consultation or other forms of security council meetings? >> this was a private meeting initiated by the lithuanian ambassador in a national capacity, not as presidency of the security council. it came in the wake of a letter from the ukrainian permanent representative asking the security council to meet. a private meeting means the security council members have an opportunity to hear from another party, in this case the ukrainian permanent representative, but without cameras there and without other members of the u.n. being present. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much.
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>> the russian federation is at least as interested as anybody else in the stability and prosperity of ukraine. i would claim for obvious reasons of geography and history we are much more interested in that than some others who profess their knowledge about which way ukraine would like to go, and maybe this is one of the reasons for the current crisis in ukraine. too many visitors are claiming the path the ukrainians should be taking, rather than allowing the proper political process in the country. speaking about this particular meeting, its value for us was that it allowed us to retrace the crisis in ukraine and particularly the current state of the situation in ukraine. from our point of view, a crucial element of this instability and the problems in
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various parts of ukraine is that the february 21 agreement was discovered immediately after it was signed. you will recall there were key elements in that agreement. first, the agreement envisaged a there was the consultation of everybody in the ukraine to produce a constitution that would take care of this. the second was that there should be a government of national unity. the third was that those people carrying weapons in the streets should not have arms. there were international factors of violence which had taken
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place during the course of the crisis. were discarded. it created instability in some regions of the country. cannot bement described as a government of national unity. it contains only people from a particular region of the country , central and western ukraine. it does not contain representatives from various forces. it is something that is causing concern in some parts of the .kraine they wanted to abrogate along the languages. two years ago, in 2012, after a difficult process leading to
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agreement,pting the it was seen, as we understand it , by a number of people as an effort by those who found themselves in power. politicalimpose their will on the rest of the country. what causew, this is the reaction in some parts of including crimea, where they saw efforts to intimidate. announcementhis that training will be sent to cry mariner. french trained people traveling from one region to groups. like youth
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it was meant as a sign of intimidation, of exercising force and intimidation. we saw happening in kia before. the international community needs to think about the political process which was envisaged in the 21st agreement. solid ground for various forms of assistance. prepared to provide the offer of financial assistance. >> sorry, he called on me. ambassador, there's been talk of an international mediation.
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is that something you would approve of? which needsething ,o be discussed and analyzed the point i made in consultation is that we need to ask the authorities what they feel about this kind of mission. it is a kind of imposed mediation. if they are comfortable, we would have nothing against it. >> you saw the press conference today. what do you think about what he said? that the legal to be of declaring him not the president is questionable. actually, ambassador of the
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ukraine just told us that he recorded it and presented us with some of the helicopters presented by the russian federation. it was seen as an active progression. >> we have an agreement with the ukraine. we are acting within the framework of that agreement. i understand they are trying to distance themselves from this definition of aggression. that definition would be completely unacceptable. >> do you believe that if you would've remained in camp, he would've been allowed to -- >> this is the problem. what happened was that immediately after this agreement not just by
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president yanukovych above by and the foreign minister's of germany, france, and portland, supported by the european union, immediately there were threats that they would storm the presidential resigns bynless he 10:00 the next morning. that is what caused him to leave the city. . and that was a clear breach of the agreement. >> the international monetary fund, they're offering money -- would you participate in that -- >> we are prepared to discuss various approaches to dealing with the very dramatic economic situation. for us, coming from the russian perspective, it is difficult to
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discuss it specifically because we don't know what the problem of this government will be. is it going to be a government that will be supported by the broad segment of the ukrainian population? we are open to the idea of the international community meeting to help ukraine but there are too many question marks. >> can i ask you a further question about military movements in the crimea? there have been reports of armed men at airports, reports of more military helicopters coming in to crimea. >> we are trying to ask our colleagues to postpone this meeting till tomorrow to get more information. they wanted to go ahead now. i don't have specific information. i recall from history books that one world one started, some newspapers in the u.k. reported that they saw a russian cossacks
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at the railway station. those reports are not always true. >> regardless of what the situation is now, is russia willing -- is russia willing to militarily intervene in ukraine to achieve your political goals? >> [laughter] even the question is aggravating. >> what is the role of roberts in ukraine? >> we are concerned that he has been pushed into this thing. about his trip, it is a serious issue. unfortunately at various stages of his campaign he was played with by the new ukrainian authorities. the first meeting with the new chairman, the press service
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reported that he supported the current processes. what that meant under those circumstances was not clear. the day before there was the favor 21 agreement supported by the secretary-general. one would expect him to support this agreement that was signed the day before. then we are giving the explanation that he did not really say it. what he said was completely different. if you're asking again about the possibility [indiscernible] why not? it's not a situation where one can improvise. we have seen too much improvise nation rather than sticking to the solid ground of february the 21st agreement.
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>> at the beginning of the syrian crisis, you say the western countries were creating a situation that would get worse. i remember i was here and you said something like that. how do you judge what the european union, united states -- are you ready to say something similar? did they behave in a way they should not? >> i don't want to draw any parallels between syria and ukraine. we definitely saw some imposed mediation, and some people who were trying to determine for ukraine what they wanted. you remember the footage, when the speaker of the parliament from one of the baltic countries was speaking. the foreign minister of germany was actually marching in the demonstration with the opposition.
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now we're going to have a referendum on the independence of scotland. can we expect baltic politicians marching there among those who are pitching for independence? let's see if this is going to happen. some of those things were quite graphic and in our view completely had nothing to do with the idea of no interference. they emphasize sovereignty but they behave as though ukraine was a province of the european union. that is at least impolite towards our ukrainian friends. then maybe more importantly, there was an effort to determine for ukraine what they need to do. you alluded to president yanukovych. i think he mentioned it briefly in today's press statement. they did realize, the ukrainian authorities, that signing of that association in agreement would entail serious economic consequences for them.
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they tried to buy some time. you see what happened. they were crowded in telling they were doing the wrong thing and this whole trouble started. they have a democratically elected president who had majority and a democratically elected parliament and his election was coming up a year from now. then he offered the post of prime minister to him. he could've taken the post. he could have signed the association agreement if you wanted to. he should've taken responsibility for the consequences. they went for toppling the president on changing operation. it was a dramatic and traumatic experience for the entire ukrainian society.
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that interference from our western colleagues has not been helpful. they have a certain responsibility for those dramatic consequences and responsibility for not following through with the agreement that they themselves brought about and affixed their signatures to on february the 21st. >> what is moscow's bottom line? >> the best way to resolve the crisis is to look hard at the february 21 agreement and try to do things the way they were described there. they need to have a constitutional dialogue and process of forming a new constitution. they need to refrain from hasty presidential election, which will most likely create more friction within the country. they need to stop trying to intimidate other regions and other political forces.
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they need to show in their actual policies that this is about national reconciliation and unity, territorial integrity of ukraine. they need to work towards establishing the common ground there. so far we don't see that in practice. we heard declarations to that effect but don't see that in practice. thank you very much. becauseding to reports,
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of the situation between ukraine and russia, the obama administration is reevaluating summitnts to attend the in sochi this summer. on the next "washington journal", the upcoming primaries in texas and illinois. a special election and for to. we will talk with david wasserman. nutrition reporter paul mccreary will discuss efforts to boost technology programs. journal" is live every morning at 7:00 a.m. used her in with your calls, tweets, and facebook comments on c-span. ousted ukrainian president viktor? bridge spoke at a news conference today.
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he spoke about his presidency and threats to his life and family. courtesy of russia today. it is about one hour. >> if you do not mind, we will organize our conference in the following way. mr. viktor yanukovych would first like to tell you a few words, addressing them to you and the whole world. then, we will have the question time. if you agree with this, you have the floor, please. >> thank you. distinguished viewers, journalists, it is high time for me to announce my decision to fight for the future of ukraine. against those who use fear and terror to take the power. and i have decided to go public about it. no one has deposed me. i was forced to leave ukraine because of the threat to my life
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and the life of my relatives. as you know, the power in ukraine was seized by nationalist pro-fascist youth mobs, who represent a minority of the ukrainian population. how do i see the solution now to the crisis? a need to fulfill what was laid
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down by the crisis settlement agreement between the president of the ukraine and opposition leaders, in the presence of the foreign ministers of france, germany, and poland, as well as a representative of the russian federation. we need to embark on a constitutional reform and finish it by september 2014. the reform needs to balance out all of the branches of power -- the authorities of the president, the parliament. then, we need to hold presidential elections in december of 2014. and then, to adopt a new
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constitution. of course, it is very important to conduct an unbiased investigation of the acts of violence. of course, given the monitoring of the european authorities, and all of the arms and weapons need to be handed over to the police. all of the buildings and streets and squares need to be de-blocked, and the barricades need to be removed. all of the armed gunmen need to leave the streets, need to ensure normal life for the citizens of ukraine, including in kiev and other regions of the country. we need to take into account the interests of all the regions of
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the ukraine. it will be very difficult to get out of this difficult situation. the turbulent time that we faced, and the casualties, are the consequences of the political crisis that ukraine faced. this is the result of the irresponsible policy of the west, which connived at the maidan opposition forces. the ukraine is a strong country, and we will prevail. we will get out of this crisis. i also urge to hold a ukrainian referendum. as for the issues that will be put on that referendum for a
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vote, we need to discuss these issues with the participation of the broad spectrum of the civil society. and of course, they have to reflect the relevant problems the country is facing, and also in terms of for the state order. thank you. >> thank you, mr. yanukovych. i would like to hear some questions. the first question is to be asked by my interfax colleague. you are welcome to ask a question. in a question. the microphone is not working. please introduce yourself. the mic is not working. >> my name is [indiscernible]
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>> please just talk as loudly as you can. >> mikhail petrov, interfax agency. yesterday, you said the agreement concluded in february was not fulfilled. my second question is that the judges of the constitutional court have been deposed in ukraine. the russian constitutional court has already provided some feedback on that. how could you comment on that? thank you. >> thank you. i got the question. the agreement that was supposed to give a solution to the crisis had to be completed by both sides. and i believe that the international intermediaries were reliable.
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i believed in the bona fide character of the agreement. the leaders of the opposition signed it. the ministers of foreign affairs of three states also signed it. it was a critical decision at that point. according to the opposition and the radical elements that were present at maidan and in other regions, they had to hand over their weapons to de-block the areas they seized, but that was not enforced. as a result, kiev was flooded with gunmen that started
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programs. started to destroy houses, cultural facilities, and churches. and innocent civilians suffered. people were robbed and beaten up in the streets. and that is still happening. that is why that agreement gave a certain hope, but what ensued later is hard to describe. this is lawlessness, terror, complete chaos, and lack of power.
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these are unprecedented decisions that were taken by those elements through force. these are unprecedented decisions. some of those that were subject to physical violence had stones thrown at them. they were intimidated.
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they were take care to the square where they took an oath of loyalty. this cannot be called the job of the parliament. this is done by opposition forces. they were pressed by the gun man and the seal of the to parliament -- parliament. and the government that called the cabinet of it to read. this is the bit three over the ukrainian people? it should have been a government of national unity. that is what we were discussing back then. today it is difficult to find the proper words to describe how the power is being fought today into its in the power. the names, which became name -- known across the world, these are the people who promote violence. beyond the ukraine, they are well known around the world. they insight fear. i believe the ukrainian parliament is not legitimate. i still maintain the sacrament which was not the filled, given the condition that it will be
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for sale could have called down the situation and would have launched the legal process of resolving the political crisis in the ukraine. that was the way out. the radicals have forced us into these dead ends. >> the second part of the question about the judges. >> this is unprecedented. not just for the ukraine but for any country of the world.
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the state itself is destroyed. we should not allow this to happen. >> i do not know if the microphone is going to work. i'm going to give the floor to him who has a loud voice. give him the microphone. >> do you feel ashamed? >> ashamed. furthermore i would like to offer my apologies first and foremost to veterans, the ukrainian people, for what
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happened in ukraine. for the fact that i did not have enough strength to maintain stability and to allow for the mess to happen. >> please introduce yourself. on the 21st of february, you signed an agreement with the opposition. you made concessions to the opposition. suddenly you fled the country. could you please explain in detail why you fled the country? why did you not speak directly to people straight away? why did it and you asked the eu
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for how? >> thank you for the question. please keep to one question of possible. >> i did not flee anywhere. i went from kiev to another city. during that trip when a still in kiev, i was exposed to gunfire from automatic weapons. this was subject to gunfire. i did not leave alone. we did not flee. we were supposed to meet with some of the activists and our supporters from the regions. there was a for a that was
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supposed to take place, a conference. we arrived there late at night. we had to do that. when we arrived in the city, february the 20 and from early morning to the service and the radical elements. it was not about fear. i did not have any fear. i needed to comply with the safety conditions to maintain these conditions. it is not my job to accept security rules. i accepted the decision. the speaker of the ukrainian parliament and i asked them to fly to another city. we had a plane ready. they gathered the supporters and to tell them everything that what had been happening in kiev.
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i decided to take a trip. we took two helicopters and first be dispatchers warned us that needed to strains the direction. they said it looked like we were heading toward russia and that they would signal fighters to ground us. the pilots of those tours are law abiding people. they decided to turn back and land in another city.
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here is the explanation of the situation. this is how it started to move around the ukraine. i took the car into which you crime year -- krimear eventually. the intentions i had were real and by the new threats. they said even the youngest grandchild was put on the blacklists. my eldest son went to the kindergarten and preschool and took him away. he said i cannot risk the lives of my family. that is what the situation was like.
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>> keep your cool.
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i would like someone from the bench to speak now. the gentleman in the black jacket. >> could you speak on the current situation in krimea. i represent to the moscow. what do you think is going to happen in crimea in the near future? >> i am here now. a friend of mine lives near the this city. i came to find a temporary refuge here for a wild. as for crimea, everything that is happening in crimea today is a natural breeze wants to the regime change that took place this year.
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the power that was done by radical mobsters. if you compare them to the 45 million population of ukraine. crimeans do not want to obey, and will not obey nationalists. of course i sympathize for what is happening with the militia units. they want to defend themselves, their families. their homes. this is a natural desire of the people. i know that crimeans can hear me. i would like to address them. urge restraing. please, avoid any conflict. crimea needs to stay part of the ukraine. of course by maintaining a broader area. >> ok. the next question will be yours. lee's. please. [indiscernible] are you going to come back to the ukraine? when is this going to happen? >> what about the second part of the question?
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>> when are you going to come back to ukraine? >> i believe that any military actions in this situation are unacceptable. i am not going to request any military assistance. i believe that ukraine needs to stay united. as for the possibility am i coming back, i will return to ukraine once the conditions of my security and the security of my family will be insured.
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>> i would like the young man to speak up now. >> how did you get to russia? did you get here by plane? did you meet president putin? there are very few ukrainian journalists here. i would like to ask some more questions. you said you're going to fight for the future of ukraine. do you know all of your parties have fellow mps call you a traitor? why do you think about the situation currently going on in crimea?
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>> can you please repeat the first two questions? how did you get into russia. that is one. did you meet with putin. that is it. please sit down. no more questions. >> here is how i came to russia. they came by the officers. that is the way i am going to put his. they did their duty. they helped me to stay alive. number two, i did not meet mr. putin. when i ended up here in russia i had a phone call with him. we agreed that once i have an opportunity once the president of russia has opportunity to meet, i do not know when this will happen.
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>> please keep calm. the lady with the mic or the young man. >> mr. president, the agreement that you signed that no one is speaking of today. the agreement that you sign has made no mention of at all today. don't you think that you have been deceived when you were made to do this assignment? how would you count for this? how did they decide so harshly? >> i do not quite get the question. >> i was not just deceived. they deceived the ukrainian keep will. in such a situation i would like to get a raise on from those who also signed this agreement. they act did as guarantors of the agreement. they in short that this would be met. we have no contacts with them. we talked over the phone. i saw no reports or any desire to talk to me over the phone. no reports in the media were available. this is not enough. we need to discuss this issue. this issue -- this issue is still on the table. >> what was the second question
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about? how do you account for the division? i also reply to your question and the question in the union news agency. i am not a judge. let god judge them. judge their behavior in these times. i do not condemn the pub -- the people who were forced. in their houses were burned. they had to take steps because they were threatened with weapons. i had a chance to talk to some of the mps when i was still in the ukraine. what i heard was really terrifying.
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i will hope and i will pray to god that the powers that be will come to their senses and stop the violence that is taking place. >> thank you. let's not ask somebody from the last row. >> how do you think the youth training came to this free default situation?
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why is the treasury empty? your opponents are saying it is because you have take inn this -- taken this money on shores. are you planning to take part in the presidential election in may? thank you. >> as for the pre-default situation, i do nothing any in the world will deny the fact that the situation rose when the situation was in the ukraine. ukraine stayed with that. we did they -- pay pensions and salaries regularly.
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we had an intention to continue. the ukrainian people are aware of that. we work hard to ensure that all the social development problems will be resented. we will get ready for the election. there is no secret about that. we will do everything in our power that is better to leave and a stable country that has a great prospect of development. the number of our supporters was the biggest. it was different political parties.
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people believed in that. we will have implemented that. now the full responsibility goes with those who lead our country to this crisis and the chaos and full-blown disaster. if they are responsible for that. they are to blame. as for the presidential election, i will not take part in them. every election has to take place
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in compliance with the ukrainian lower constitution. >> you can have the microphone. please introduce yourself first. >> could you please speak a little more slowly? you have already said today that the ukrainian people betrayed you.
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now you're talking about your future plans for the election. who are you going to rely on in your election campaign? >> i think you got the statement wrong. he is not going to take part in the elections. in any case, are you going to continue to be in politics? >> i did not get the question.
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>> you said you are going to fight for the future of ukraine. what means are you going to use? are you going to organize some resistance groups? do you have some other method? this is by the international mediators. once my personal safety is ensured, i will come back to ukraine as soon as possible. secondly, i do see the ways of solving this crisis. first and foremost is the federal agreement that was first signed in unilaterally breached the west needs to take full responsibility for that. we need to come back to this issue.
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an item by item gather a reply from both sides. i believe the responsibility for knots implementing these agreements rest with the west. they initiated that. based send their foreign ministers to kiev -- if they send their foreign ministers to kiev. they have approved all of the items that were on the agenda. the councils of ministers added in brussels that day. that is my position and i will maintain it.
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>> thank you. >> mr. president, yesterday the swiss mass media reported the swiss government arrested your assets in swiss banks as well as the assets of some of their members of ukrainian ex-government. there's also a criminal case brought against some of the former members of the ukrainian government. the second question will follow later. >> please sit down. i do not think there is a senior person in this audience who would take the pleasure of the supporters happening in kiev. it is the other way around. you can understand how my supporters feel.
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and the people who are suffering today. because of the lack of power in chaos that ensued. that is what i have addressed and i would like to address once again all those who were responsible for the lawlessness that is taking place. it is changing direction with the patrons from the west.
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>> mr. president, have you talked to her? how would you comment on this in general. would you like to offer some apologies to the police who stood to protect you. now they have subjected it to insults and threats.
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>> i met with those who are members of the unions. they were cutting through a lot of cocktails at them. shot them from small arms. some of them were killed. i would like to apologize once again. these rate men were innocent. they were innocent people. -- these great men were innocent people. they were innocent people. they suffered. i do not know what is her destiny. the ukrainian court took passed the verdict that the decision was in force. that was enforced. -- verdict the decision was enforced. she was there in quite good conditions. her release today is an issue which can be considered from a legal standpoint.
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we can generalize why she was released. i never meant harm for her. i was vocal about that. i do not have any personal negative feelings toward her. the agreement she signed with russia lost about 20 billion in losses. that was a burden the ukrainian people. then the west and president putin's press different points of view. they disagreed with my position and the position of the court. it is up to them. the training court risk on the to that question. -- the ukrainian court responded to that question.
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it was a reality. >> please take your seats. i would like them to answer the question first.
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thank you for the opportunity. mr. yanukovych e.g. not have this from law enforcement struck -- structures. you do not have the opportunity to go back to ukraine. how do you prove now that you are the real and genuine and legitimate president of ukraine? >> i have facts to prove that. the laws that were passed will never be accepted by me. i did not sign them. this means that these laws were not passed into action. this is the legal proof which means that i am the legitimate president.
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if i am alive, as you can see, and if this president has known by the president, he is the legitimate incumbent president. what we saw in the parliament was the use of force cannot be called an impeachment. i will never accept that.
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>> the russians, they are concerned over this. what kind of role can russia play in this conflict? how do you see this? >> ukraine has always been a strategic partner. agreements that we have with -- within the framework of these agreements, russia has the authority to act. . believe that russia shall act


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